I’m no genius and definitely have my fair share of mom-brain, but I do love knowing that we have the capability to learn how to take care of ourselves without having to always depend on someone else to guide us. I think that’s why I love trying to understand health. I hate seeing Craig or Ezra sick and not knowing why they are or how to help. I fully believe that so many doctors are wonderful, amazing, kind, God sent individuals and I am so grateful that we have them when necessary, but I also believe that as a society we depend WAY too much on them for the smallest things. When did we decide that we are all just helpless bystanders when it comes to our health? At the first sign of a cold so many of us rush to the hospital for a check up and some antibiotics when the simple truth is that we know they won’t help at all. Antibiotics are wonderful for many things but a cold isn’t one of them… We overload our bodies with antibiotics and other medicines that don’t help in many cases, destroy the good bacteria in our guts, and leave us without a natural resistance to the problem. There is definitely a time and place for these things, but not at the first sign of your average sickness. It made me so frustrated to go buy the pricey medication, get over the cold in about the same amount of time I would have anyway, and by the end of it I knew I’d done nothing to actually heal myself so I was bound to do it again in a few months…
I was done. I hated the helplessness. I hated the vicious cycle and the expensive treatments. So I started studying. I researched actual causes of sicknesses, natural treatments and preventative measures, and ways to heal my body from the inside out. I discovered the beautiful and miraculous world of herbs, teas, essential oils, probiotics, and so many other things that have drastically improved my health.
I had a TERRIBLE immune system most of my life, getting bad colds and worse many, many times a year. The winter was always miserable for me because I knew without exception I would get sick at least 3 or 4 times- maybe more. And it would last so long and be so bad… It was awful.
I’m a mom now. I can’t handle that much sickness in my life. It takes enough energy as it is to care for a 1 year old ball of constant energy, especially while pregnant! Doing all of that with a stuffy nose and achey body is no good… So hallelujah, these natural remedies have been such a source of relief to me.
Here are some of my absolute favorite things for preventing and/or treating sicknesses, especially during that chilly, wintery time of year!
- Vitamin C! I know most people know this one, but seriously this stuff is better than most people realize. It is such a powerful substance that is so essential in our bodies. Many of us are deficient in it, so simply adding it into your diet will improve your overall immune system helping you to fight sickness. I also love this Garden of Life vitamin C spray because even Ezra will take it and loves the taste! Adults may want something with a little more vitamin C, but this a great option for getting a little extra in your system every day. This is one of my favorite brands for all vitamins because it is all natural and organic and has quality ingredients unlike many common vitamins with synthetic ones.
- Thieves Essential Oil. Oh my goodness we basically diffuse this stuff all through the winter now. It smells like some kind of cinnamon spice cake and it fights off germs like you wouldn’t believe. Obsessed! I put cinnamon in practically everything we eat so it’s right up my alley! It is an awesome blend of oils like clove, cinnamon and rosemary, and is amazing for fighting viruses, bacteria, and more. There have been many studies done on this super powerful oil and it is an amazing germ killer! We also use this along with other oils to speed up the recovery of sicknesses. A few of our other favorites are Eucalyptus, which is great to help with breathing (or myrtle is a great breathing oil for kids!) and Ginger (or young livings Di-Gize) which is wonderful for nausea. We also love tee tree, lemon, and lavender for many different uses! SniffleEase is also great for kids during colds. We always apply a few drops of this into Ezra’s bath or diffuser when he’s not feeling great. There are so many great oils for all different illnesses! I could go on and on 🙂 If you’re interested in learning more about why I’m obsessed with these, see my blog post here!
- Garlic may not be the most inviting thing, but it is a fabulous antioxidant. When I feel something coming on, I chop off a small piece of garlic and swallow it like a pill. I can tell a difference every time! My illness is always shorter, less severe, or sometimes goes away all together. I’m serious, I think garlic is one of God’s most amazing creations for fighting sickness! This thing can fix just about anything. (My mom used to literally put it in our ears for an ear infection because it was the only thing that would work, but we will save that for another post ?) This miracle food has even been shown to aid in fighting cancer. So simply adding more garlic to your everyday meals can have a vast improvement on your health.
- Hot tea is not only beneficial but is so soothing and relaxing when you’re sick.. Echinacea, peppermint, chamomile, ginger or even plain green tea. Add in some honey, lemon and maybe some cinnamon and oh man- so relaxing and has wonderful healing properties. Not only does it soothe a sore throat and improve your breathing, but the honey, lemon and herbs add anti-inflammatory, sickness fighting goodness.
- Lastly, probiotics. I could write a book on these, but for now I’ll just say that they’re one of our absolute favorite ways to stay healthy in general. You can take them in pill form (Garden of Life also has great probiotics) or find them in fermented foods as well. Our favorite is homemade kefir or kombucha (I’ll definitely be blogging about those in more detail later!) You can also purchase both of these at the store as well, though they typically aren’t as healthy and may have added sugar, so make sure to look at the ingredients when purchasing them from a store. Plain yogurt is a good source of probiotics as well! (But make sure to purchase it plain and sweeten it yourself with stevia, honey, or some other natural sweetener.) All of these are so amazing for your digestive system and help you to process foods, avoid food sensitivities and absorb nutrients by replenishing your body with beneficial bacteria. A healthy gut effects our health so much more than we realize and can vastly improve the immune system! So these are definitely a crucial part of our regimen to stay healthy.
After we started adding these things into our lives, our immune systems have improved tremendously and the sicknesses we do have are typically much less severe. It’s not perfect, and I’m definitely still learning, but it is so comforting and empowering to know that we are able to use all natural, God-given remedies to improve our lives.
The best part of these is that all of this doesn’t have to be miserable! Most kids hate medicine- I personally remember hating when we had to take that awful syrupy, fake tasting liquid medicine. But it makes my heart so happy to watch Ezra eat his homemade kefir with delight, or squeal when I ask if he wants his probiotic pill. I can diffuse wonderfully scented essential oils in our home to not only make it feel more homey and cozy but also boost our immune systems at the same time. I love it! Bringing our family up in this natural and healthy lifestyle is one of the most rewarding things, and I’m so grateful to have that ability!